03 8 / 2014

We are hiring a database journalist! You’d be working closely with me, so feel free to message me for more details.

The Sun Sentinel of South Florida is looking for a hungry and enterprising data journalist who lives to find and share the stories that data can tell.

This journalist must have a strong foundation in computer assisted reporting skills coupled with an eagerness to explore open source and other programs to present that information in innovative, visual formats online.

This journalist will focus on daily and short-range enterprise data work that can be quickly turned for the web and print. He or she will be expected to:
*Tap into news budgets and meetings to identify stories with the best potential for quick-turn, high-interest databases and data visuals.
*Quickly shift gears when news breaks, jumping into the fray to provide spot data analysis and develop immediate data visuals and searchable databases (statistical, trend, and timeline-type information presented with maps, charts, databases, and open source data visualization tools).
*Provide data analysis on enterprise stories and traditional mainstays — crime statistics, test scores, Census releases, elections – and take the lead in telling the data aspects of those stories with lists and other easy-to-digest, non-narrative formats.
*Be creative and enterprising in finding and executing stand-alone digital stories, such as Top 10 lists, graphics and photo galleries mined from news data sources.
*Conduct regular brown-bag sessions with reporters to tap into a wider range of stories and share the best and latest information on open source tools all can use, striving to help grow digital skills throughout the newsroom.

The successful applicant will need strong data analysis skills, news judgment, and initiative. He or she must have advanced ability with Excel and Access, experience with mapping software and MySQL, and familiarity with web-scraping and data-visualization tools.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, and five work samples to Metro Editor Dana Banker, dbanker@sunsentinel.com.

26 7 / 2014

I’ve often thought about how sad it is that we don’t have popular women’s publications that are educational and cultural. Men have Esquire and GQ, where fashion tips live next to important think pieces about war and national security. Women’s versions, such as Cosmopolitan and Glamour, aren’t quite the same.

Cosmo’s senior political writer Jill Filipovic writes

"If your outlet brands itself as a "women’s publication," the automatic assumption is that it’s lowbrow, apolitical, superficial, or all of the above. And there’s certainly plenty of content in traditional women’s magazines and websites that fits the bill.

But mainstream “serious” media, with its regular forays into rapeapologia and marginalizing female accomplishment, isn’t exactly an enjoyable place for the feminist-hearted either.”

She goes on to make a very valid point: Hard-hitting journalism isn’t taking seriously in women’s magazines because they also publish sex tips and lists of the best makeup brushes. However, hard-hitting journalism is taken seriously in non-women’s publications, and those organizations often publish similar lists focusing on sex and beauty. 

I am very happy to see Cosmo recognizing that sex is both a health issue and a recreational activity. Contraception and women’s healthcare are huge issues right now, and they are providing coverage that some of the best news organizations are ignoring. 

There’s no reason why the fall’s best skirts can’t flip the page to a well-reported story on government defense spending. The key is that the pieces must move beyond women’s issues. Women’s issues are super important to publish, but to be taken seriously, there must be pieces on topics other than education, birth control and domestic violence. I enjoy reading stories from Esquire and GQ. No all of them are for me, but every once in awhile, they do great work that crosses gender lines. I want that for female publications. 

To be honest, I’ve thought about starting a smart and relevant women’s publication, but friends in the industry, who also recognize the need, have talked me out of it convincing me it would be a hard sell. I’m not so sure about that anymore. Maybe now is the perfect time. Cosmo editors and writers will receive a lot of backlash, but I’m excited to see how the publication progresses. We have your back. 

26 7 / 2014

Loved seeing these beauties last night! #ztalways  (at Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden)

Loved seeing these beauties last night! #ztalways (at Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden)

18 7 / 2014

"Never underestimate the power of being a woman, never underestimate the power of being a Zeta, and never be surprised when greatness is expected of you."

Deb Ensor, the executive director of Zeta Tau Alpha who recently lost her battle with ovarian cancer.

She’s the woman who put us on social probation (more than once) and the one who always made sure our reports were filed on time. Her name may have been met with fear, but she dedicated her life to building a sisterhood I am proud of and grateful for. Thank you for everything, Deb.

22 6 / 2014

#ibelievethatwewillwin

#ibelievethatwewillwin

14 6 / 2014

Photos before mom’s wedding.  (at Lakewood Lakes)

Photos before mom’s wedding. (at Lakewood Lakes)

07 6 / 2014

Tailgating before the England game!  (at Sun Life Stadium)

Tailgating before the England game! (at Sun Life Stadium)

04 6 / 2014

Drive By Truckers (at culture room)

Drive By Truckers (at culture room)

27 5 / 2014

"Very little of value in the world is done by people who are not obnoxious."

Malcolm Gladwell

14 5 / 2014

at Rockefeller Center

at Rockefeller Center

10 5 / 2014

#scherbst51014  (at Holy Infant Catholic Church)

#scherbst51014 (at Holy Infant Catholic Church)

09 5 / 2014

My favorite big cousin is getting married tomorrow! The first Schallom to give up the name. Xoxo  (at Pastaria)

My favorite big cousin is getting married tomorrow! The first Schallom to give up the name. Xoxo (at Pastaria)

09 5 / 2014

Happy graduation to the most overlooked Schallom of the weekend. So proud of you!  (at Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis)

Happy graduation to the most overlooked Schallom of the weekend. So proud of you! (at Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis)

05 5 / 2014

A couple of Sun Sentinel projects have received awards recently.

Our Sex Predators Unleashed project was a finalist in the Multiplatform category of IRE, a finalist in the Sunshine State awards in the online platform category and took first place in the Green Eyeshade Awards in both the Public Service in Online Journalism and Digital Media Presentation categories. 

Our Cops, Cash, Cocaine project took the Best of Division (Print), first place in courts and the law reporting and second place in investigative reporting in the Green Eyeshade Awards. 

I’m so grateful to have been a part of these wonderful projects! 

01 5 / 2014

Vampire Weekend was everything I thought they’d be. (at The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater)

Vampire Weekend was everything I thought they’d be. (at The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater)